Definitely agree with what you are saying about the state of programming, and since I wrote this post a year ago, my thinking has shifted a bit. A lot of “engineering” is really putting together various Lego pieces, much of this due to higher level languages, extensive libraries, a proliferation of API’s, and code snippets on Stack Overflow and GitHub. You are more often gluing various pieces together to make working code.
What will the future hold? I think a lot of the rote stuff will actually end up being automated away. We are already seeing this. The stuff that remains however will require higher level thinking and creativity in order to be deemed competent. This will not happen tomorrow, but that is where I feel things are heading.